Making biscuits…..Why do Cats knead?
Veterinarian Reviewed on June 11, 2011 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Cats seem to have a deep seated need to knead!
They will knead their bed, your cushions, your belly or knees and as we saw in the previous video, other cats…or dogs…or sometimes they just knead the air, when they are lying on their backs, which is particularly cute 🙂
So, what inspires a cat to “make biscuits”?
One reason stems from kittenhood. Kittens must nurse their mother to get milk. Kneading moms belly stimulates milk to flow more freely. This instinctive movement results in more of this life sustaining liquid, so the theory is that kneading makes good things happen!
Kitty may be marking its territory. Sure, it’s nice to make sure your chosen spot is as comfy and cushy as possible but….cats have scent glands located in the pads of their feet near the base of their claws. When your cat wants to mark its territory, it will paw and leave claw marks on items indicating the boundary. In the process, it leaves a bit of its own unique scent!
For both kittens and adults…kneading seems to be a comforting action since it mainly takes place during periods of happiness and contentment. So, the next time kitty begins to work those pads before curling up in your lap, realize how special you must be. Not only has she chosen you as the best place on the planet, she’s also letting the rest of the world know that you belong to her. Now isn’t that worth a few small puncture wounds? :o)
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan